Thursday, August 30, 2018

@The Real Donald Trump

The article captures the essence of Donald Trump in a nutshell. Politico reports

The willingness of Republican senators to turn on Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the result of a furious lobbying campaign from President Donald Trump, who for the past 10 days has been venting his anger at Sessions to “any senator who will listen,” as one GOP Senate aide put it.

The President of the United States of America can fire the head of the Justice Department whenever he wishes.   But this is no ordinary president, who counts among his tweets criticizing or ridiculing the Attorney General:

He won't fire Sessions and wants his toadies in Congress to convince the Attorney General to resign, hopefully after the mid-term elections, so as not to jeopardize the GOP's Senate majority. 

Conveniently, Politico captures another of Trump's basic traits when it adds

Seized by paroxysms of anger, Trump has intermittently pushed to fire his attorney general since March 2017, when Sessions announced his recusal from the Russia investigation. If Sessions’ recusal was his original sin, Trump has come to resent him for other reasons, griping to aides and lawmakers that the attorney general doesn’t have the Ivy League pedigree the president prefers, that he can’t stand his Southern accent and that Sessions isn’t a capable defender of the president on television — in part because he “talks like he has marbles in his mouth,” the president has told aides.

Notwithstanding the bizarre implication that the President cannot get someone fired ("has intermittently pushed to fire his attorney general since March 2017"), we learn that Trump looks down upon Sessions because he didn't attend an Ivy League university, has a southern accent, and "talks like he has marbles in his mouth." Quite the populist, that man. Jonathan Chait recognizes that for all of Trump's

vaunted populism, he is filled with contempt for average people in general and his own supporters in particular.

Trump has touted the mindless loyalty of his base, and when he marveled that he would not lose any support if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue, he was not complimenting the discernment of his supporters. He has tried to turn that into a positive — “I love the poorly educated!” — but the association with low socioeconomic strata has grated on him. Trump is the ultimate snob. He has no sense that working-class people may have equal latent talent that they have been denied the chance to develop. He considers wealthy and successful people a genetic aristocracy, frequently attributing his own success to good genes.

Attempting to explain his penchant for appointing plutocrats to his Cabinet, Trump has said, “I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?” It makes sense if you assume a person’s wealth perfectly reflects their innate intelligence. Trump has repeatedly boasted about his Ivy League pedigree and that of his relatives, which he believes reflects well on his own genetic stock. He has fixated on the Ivy League pedigree of his Supreme Court appointments, even rejecting the credentials of the lower Ivys as too proletarian.

Chait understands that Trump views "working-class strivers" as "suckers," to whom he gives "a lifestyle they can enjoy vicariously."

While the latest reporting of Trump's attitude toward Jeff Sessions is clearly evocative of his elitism, the signs that Donald Trump is a class-A elitist were evident before he was elected, even before his campaign began.

Not so, though, his cowardice. Understandably, tens of millions of Americans were suckered into believing that the star of The Apprentice was a tough character, able to get what he wanted out of people, and getting rid of them if they wouldn't bend to his will. 

However, as much as Donald J. Trump looks down upon anyone who isn't very wealthy or educated at the most prestigious schools, his skill at convincing people that he can easily pronounce " you're fired" remains his biggest con, and possibly the greatest con of anyone ever elected President of the USA.


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